WASHINGTON -- The White House announced additional signers of its American Business Act on Climate Pledge on Monday, bringing the total number of participating parties up to 81.
Among the companies joining the effort are Starbucks, Target, Mars, McDonald's and Intel, following business giants like Walmart and Coca-Cola, which joined in July. The companies are also putting forward their own individual climate commitments, which include reducing emissions from operations and increasing their use of renewable energy.
"We recognize that delaying action on climate change will be costly in economic and human terms, while accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy will produce multiple benefits with regard to sustainable economic growth, public health, resilience to natural disasters, and the health of the global environment," states the pledge.
The effort is part of the Obama administration's buildup to the United Nations climate negotiations at the end of this year, when world leaders hope to reach an international agreement on curbing planet-warming emissions. Negotiators are meeting in Germany this week to finalize a draft of the agreement ahead of the big meeting in Paris.
The pledges "demonstrate that the American private sector is stepping up," said Brian Deese, senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in a call with reporters Monday morning. "In both the United States and in countries across the world, the support and the backing of the business community is an important ingredient to getting to ambitious but also sustainable climate action."
"Making sure those voices are prominent as we move into the final stage of international talks is absolutely essential," said Deese. "At the end of the day, we need to demonstrate we can act on the climate effects we face, that we can reduce emissions."
Joining Deese on the call was Todd Brady, global environmental director of Intel. "We believe that global climate change is a serious environmental and social challenge," said Brady, who added that the situation demands an "equally serious response from both the public and private sector."
Obama is also hosting a roundtable with the CEOs of some of the signatory corporations at the White House Monday.